Country Profile

THE STATE OF COOPERATION ENABLING ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT EFFECTIVENESS CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS IN GUATEMALA

Guatemalan Civil Society (CS) today is a reflection of the confluence of a number of historical factors, including 36 years of internal armed conflict (1960-1996) as well as major political restructuring after the signing of the Peace Accords (CIVICUS, 2011).

The process of democratization has not been easy. However, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have sought different mechanisms to get their voices heard and participate actively in national development. This has involved working together as a sector at the national and global levels.

Yet despite the Busan agreements of 2011, progress on the work of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as independent development actors, has been limited, according to the Alliance of Civil Society Organizations for Development Effectiveness (AODE)1. As demonstrated through this case study on the political, legal, economic, and sociocultural contexts in which CSOs work in Guatemala the reduction of space and voice for CSOs in political life in the country has been alarming, and is in contradiction to rhetoric heard at the international level.

Therefore, Guatemalan CSOs should redouble efforts to push for greater and more meaningful engagement in all political and development processes, with welldefined responsibilities for all stakeholders at national, regional and global levels.

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